Council Minutes - Section A: Procedural Matters - 11 June 2019

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Minutes of the Community Focus Council Meeting of the Greater Geelong City Council held at the Northern Bay Colledge, 1 Wexford Court, Corioon 11 June 2019, commencing at 7:12pm.



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Also present:

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The Chair declared the meeting open at 7:00pm.


Council acknowledged Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.




Councillors Grzybek and Aitken provided the gallery with a snapshot of some of the activities and projects happening in Windermere Ward.

Confirmation of Minutes

Councillor Mansfield moved, Councillor Mason seconded –

That the Minutes of the Community Focus Council Meeting held on 14 May 2019 be confirmed.


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Declaration of Conflicts of Interest

Councillor Grzybek declared a direct interest in Agenda Item 1, Draft Lara Recreation Reserve Masterplan, in that she is Secretary of the Lara United Football Club.

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Question Time

Rieny Niuwenhof asked the following in relation to the restoration and re-occupation of Osborne House:

When will Council begin work on the restoration and re-occupation of Osborne House - given that the Masterplan has been side-tracked by industrial and commercial interest outside community ownership.

Michael Dugina responded there is significant works to be done to bring the house back to a sufficient standard to be re-occupied. The works will be dependent on the business case and preferred use.

Due to the significant costs that come with works to a heritage site works have not yet commenced until such time as a known use is agreed to prevent re-work and inefficient use of limited resources.

Works to fix the leaks, remove the mould and to support and protect and stabilise the site such as the sagging wall in the stables have been completed.

To date there is a budget of $1.8 million planned for 2019-2020, however, this is insufficient to fully bring the site back to an occupiable state. Sourcing of funding required to fully activate the house and master plan will be addressed in the business case.

Brendon Chavasse asked about the Lara Sporting Precinct:

The Lara Sporting Club would like to have on record our request to have the Masterplan updated to reflect the “multi-purpose building” be located north-west of oval 3 and therefore south-west of the baseball field.

Councillor Murrihy thanked Mr Chavasse for his comments and noted his request.

Cheryl Scott asked the following in regard to the Osborne House and the Stables:

Can Councillors please explain the restoration program to date and justify why the Osborne Park Association tenant groups and community users cannot resume their leases and return to Osborne House given that future plans are still apparently some considerable time away from being finalised and it is not desirable for this heritage asset to sit idle?

Michael Dugina responded there has been significant community consultation due to the interest in such a significant heritage asset. Due to the number of interest groups the sourcing, planning and consultation work has taken significant time to complete.

The planned timeline going forward is:

Lionel McWilliam asked the following on behalf of Barry White addressed Council as follows:

I strongly object to the intensive townhouse residential development proposed for this site and the manner by which it was approve.

This is totally out of character with the surrounding residential area and will place significantly increased pressure, already the subject of traffic congestion, as the sixways intersection – a central concern of the Lara Traffic Study.

However, a major concern is the use of an overlay to prevent public notification and scrutiny.

While technically correct we believe that use of overlays to avoid public scrutiny is being used as a tactic to avoid criticism of such development.

  1. Will Councillors call this development application in for reconsideration of this completely inappropriate decisions?

    Gareth Smith responded Councillors will continue to monitor this proposal and consider any call in once officers have the full information required by the proponent and have received internal and external agency referral advice.

  2. Will Council review the manner in which planners use overlays or create new ones which exempt public advertising, prevent objections and avoid public scrutiny in developments which have significant community impacts?

    Gareth Smith responded the Development Plan Overlay is a tool within the Victorian Planning Provisions of the planning scheme. It is generally used when there are multiple land owners and aims to ensure orderly staged development across such land. The process to develop a DPO includes community consultation and therefore the state provision does not require ongoing engagement or appeal rights for future permits issued in general accordance with the DPO. The City however does practice notifying residents as was the case recently for this element of the Manzeene development. Once officers have reviewed all information the City will again consider, if appropriate, to notify residents again and seek their views.

Jennifer Bantow asked the following:

It is anachronistic to consider selling the former Geelong Post Office.

It’s a mind-set from the past when heritage buildings were considered to be liabilities.

Council is now in a different era, with recent visionary goals defined in the Clever and Creative Vision and other strategies and masterplans. This Council genuinely listens to its constituency.

My question is about Council’s Have Your Say website, this site invites opinions on many issues.

Submissions about the post office to Have Your Say closed this afternoon.

Some submissions may be online, some may be in the form of orthodox signed hard copy.

Although it is a considerable amount of reading, it is important that Councillors know the detail of what has been said from the community about the post office, this issue is particularly important because the decision is irreversible.

Some submitters have forwarded their Have Your Say contribution to the National Trust – Geelong and Regional Branch so we are aware of the serious input and the detail in these submissions.

In particular the James Harrison Museum Group, and the Geelong Historical Society have urgent need to save their collections.

My question is about the monitoring, and Councillor’s briefing about the Have Your Say submissions:

How is the information in these submission known to Councillors?

Are these submissions reduced simply to a number on a list, of those for and those against?  Are these views just a survey statistic?   Or, are Councillors able to read all submissions in full?

Ms Bantow’s questions were taken on notice for a written response.

Graeme Palmer asked the following in relation to the Maritime Museum and Stables – Osborne Park:

  1. What is happening at the Stables?

  2. When is the Maritime Museum to re-open?

Michael Dugina’s previous responses in relation to Osborne House and the significant works required to be completed address these questions.

Cr Kontelj added that he appreciated the frustration and Councillors are as frustrated, however there is a lot of work to be done in this space.

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Councillor Mason presented a petition from concerned citizens of Portarlington in relation to the removal of a large family of feral cats in the Portarlington Shopping Centre.

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